Yanks Ship Top Prospect Out West

Catcher Jesus Montero sent to Seattle for Michael Pineda

By Cam Cain 1-16-12

This could be one of the most influential trades in recent memory. Just not yet. The 6’3” 22-year-old Montero has been rated the the top prospect in the New York organization and one source has him as the 6th top prospect in all of baseball. In 61 September at bats, the Venezuelan hit .328 with 4 home runs. On the other hand, Pineda, a Dominican pitcher who turns 23 this Wednesday, cemented himself the second spot in the Seattle rotation in 2011. He finished 8th in the AL in WHIP and 4th in Opposing Batting Average and won 9 of Seattle’s 67 games. Pineda pitched especially well during the first 2 months of the regular season, going 6-2 with a WHIP of 0.99 and a 2.42 ERA.

The Yanks are reluctant to trade away Montero, who has reminded many scouts. of Mike Piazza, hitting-wise at least. However, they feel the deal needed to be done. New York desperately needed a second pitcher at the top of the rotation to compliment C.C. Sabathia.  They also signed Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda who has proven himself. Now, the Yankees have gone from mound questions to a solid top 4 in the rotation, with second-year pitcher Ivan Nova.

However, I think that this deal benefits the Mariners more. I think the problem with the Yankees is setting their priorities. They need a young bat in their lineup and Montero was that guy.  Mark Teixeira turns 32 in April, Jeter and A-Rod turn 38 and 37 respectively over the summer. They did need a pitcher though, missing out on C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle. The Mariners already have a star young pitcher, the 25 year old 2010 AL Cy Young winner King Felix who is going into his 8th season. We are going to definitely see the benefits of this trade for each of these teams. We’ll just have to be patient.

Statistics from baseball-reference.com


One comment

  1. Arthur Cain

    Hope this isn’t a duplicate response. Good analysis of Yankees needs, a decimated pitching staff and aging stars. It seems that current trades/acquisitions need to be looked at as part of a multi-year strategic plan.

    They need pitching (and a good hitting catcher) now but evidently the pitching has greater priority. When aging stars’ major payroll is available, the Yankees will be able to continue to use the rest of the MLB as the farm for their absurd contacts.

    grandpa cain

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